Is a Smartphone on the Top of Your Kid’s Wishlist?
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Is a Smartphone on the Top of Your Kid’s Wishlist?

Smartphones are often on top of kids’ wishlists. Take our quick quizzes to determine if you and your kids are ready for a smartphone.

Determine if your family is ready with two quick quizzes, an open discussion, and help from Circle.

Smartphones are both wonderful and worrisome devices for our kids. They allow our kids to connect to the Internet anytime, anywhere, but they also raise legitimate concerns about issues like cyberbullying, screen time addiction, and increased exposure to inappropriate content.

The key is getting all essential stakeholders—parents and kid—to weigh in on this important decision before taking the leap. Here are two quizzes to help gauge readiness for parents (are you ready to parent a minor with a smartphone?) and kids, and start the conversation about this important milestone.

Are You Prepared for Your Kid to Have a Smartphone?

As a parent, this decision is ultimately yours, so it seems appropriate to start by examining your own readiness. Also, by judging your comfort level first, you’ll be better prepared to manage your kid’s expectations. We suggest that each parent take this quick five-question quiz, score it, and discuss the results together.

Parent Readiness Quiz

Answer each question on a scale of 1-5

  1. Very low
  2. Moderately Low
  3. In the Middle
  4. Moderately High
  5. Very High

1 2 3 4 5 Level of confidence your kid is the appropriate age/maturity level

1 2 3 4 5 Amount of research you’ve done by talking to other parents, reading articles, discussing with your pediatrician, etc.

1 2 3 4 5 Ability to listen to your kid with an open mind concerning his/her reasons for wanting a device and discuss the pros and cons with both your partner and kid

1 2 3 4 5 Ability to create a family agreement and plan on rules concerning the use of the smartphone

1 2 3 4 5 Commitment level to stick to that plan


18 to 25 Woohoo: You’ve done your homework and have a plan. You’re Ready.
13 to 18 You’re getting there: More research and discussion may be needed. Focus on hurdles and concerns and brainstorm ways to overcome them.
5 to 12 Hit Pause: You may not be ready to introduce your kid to a smartphone.

Note: If one parent falls into the “Woohoo” camp and the other is ready to “Hit Pause,” determine if you still want to move forward to the kid assessment. If not, you can revisit this quiz in the future.

Is Your Kid Ready to Own a Smartphone?

Your kid’s smartphone readiness depends less on age and more on maturity and temperament. This simple quiz can help you assess whether you think they’re ready while it can help your kid self-assess their own ability to manage their own device.

Kid Readiness Quiz

Answer each question on a scale of 1-5

  1. Strongly Disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. In the Middle
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly Agree

1 2 3 4 5 Wakes up and gets ready for each day without parental involvement

1 2 3 4 5 Responsible for and respects possessions—doesn’t lose, doesn’t break

1 2 3 4 5 Completes life’s basic requirements—homework, chores, personal hygiene—without complaints, badgering, or parental help

1 2 3 4 5 Has mastered necessary social skills: Is kind to others (including family members); can comfortably speak to others face to face; can handle awkward/tense situations effectively and in person

1 2 3 4 5 Gets off devices at first request without complaint or fussiness


21 To 25 Time to pick out a phone case. Congrats! Looks like your kid is ready.
13 to 20 Could go either way. More discussion may be needed before you make a decision.
5 to 12 Maybe not this holiday. Looks like your kid may not be ready yet.

Using the Results

Take the time to discuss all of your answers and—where possible—give examples of why you each answered the way you did. The goal for the discussion is to 1) identify objections and concerns that you each may have and brainstorm ways to overcome these objections and 2) draft a family agreement or set of rules for using a smartphone. The contract can also spell out how you will measure the rules and the consequences if your kid doesn’t follow the rules. Then have everyone sign the agreement.

With features like Filters and Time Limits, Circle can help ease your concerns about putting your kid at the helm of such powerful technology. Circle can also help monitor smartphone usage to see how well your kids are following the family agreement. Here are ways Circle can help you safely monitor screen time on your kid’s new device:

Decided your kid is ready for a smartphone this year? Read our 5 Tips for Navigating New Devices for Kids.

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